Dozens of residents of a North Dallas apartment complex fear they will end up on the streets after the new owner gave them just three days to move out.
"I'm going to be homeless," said resident Gloria Clark, who added she has paid her rent on time every month.
Residents at the Town Creek Luxury Condominiums - acquired by Nessel Development Nov. 14 - complain the complex has been declining for years. The swimming pool was drained long ago, broken windows are not repaired and even some basic services are lacking.
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"We didn't have any water for five days last week," Karen King said.
Rena Hanse, vice president of operations for the property management company Asset Plus, said the new owners plan to make improvements and defended handing out the notices.
"I wanted to get something out that would hit people very hard but would get the conversation started," Hanse said. "The sooner we start the conversation, we can get them relocated."
But residents said they were surprised by the new owners' first step: Ordering everyone in all 89 units out in just three days or with the threat of formal eviction.
"Thank God I don't have kids like the other people have kids," said Kimberly Moore. "I really feel for them. Here it is Christmas time. Thanksgiving. What are we supposed to do?"
Sandy Rollins, head of the Texas Tenants Union, blasted the new owners for giving residents such short notice to move.
"It's so far off the scale of wrong, I don't even know what else to say beyond that," Rollins said. "I find it appalling, outrageous, [and] unacceptable."
Nessel Developemnt owner Ariel Nessel said in a statement that they delivered the three-day notices to 58 apartments listed as significantly behind on rent and another 23 listed as vacant in an attempt to bring neglected tenant records up to date.
"These were standard 'three-day notices' and are appropriate under Texas law," the statement read.
Nessel stated they will help residents without current leases make housing arrangements, including help with application fees, security deposits and moving costs.
"We and our representatives could have explained the situation to our residents - and allayed their fears - with greater professionalism and compassion," Nessel stated. "All of us at Nessel Development regret our failure to adequately communicate with the current residents at The Town Creek condos."